I've tried to grow balloon flowers in my garden for three years now. If the seeds I planted each year grew, I either pulled them thinking they were weeds, or they never grew or never bloomed.
We recently returned from a 10-day trip to the Pacific Northwest, where we participated in the MS-150 (the Deception Pass Classic), and we found many of my garden flowers had keeled over while we were away.
Most noticeable was the loss of our peppers once again. I think it got cold one night, and the peppers just couldn't handle it.
We went to the nursery to find more pepper plants because we lost all of our pepper plants last year, too, albeit to a different culprit. We didn't want to have to wait three months for more fresh peppers by planting from seed again.
Unfortunately, the nursery didn't have a single pepper plant. But they did have some balloon flowers on end-of-season clearance! As well as some Gerber daisies and bell flowers. I spent about $10 on flowers for the porch for the few days of non-freezing nights that may remain. What a deal!
Back at home, we planted more peppers and will wait patiently. Meanwhile, the new blue flowers are going nuts!
And now I know why they call them balloon flowers!!!